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Derby City Children's Social Care Procedures

3.1.3 Initial Response Team: Children's Services


This chapter describes the process for responding to telephone contacts and referrals; including how Children's Social Care thresholds are used to assess risk.


Derby City Initial Response Team Flowchart

Derby City Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Operating Framework & Information Sharing Agreement

Derby City and Derbyshire Thresholds Guidance

AIM3 Assessment Process

Derby City Council uses a Strengths Based Approach for all work with children and families.

Initial Response Team - Tel: 01332 641172

Non-urgent referrals via the Derby Children's Social Care Online Referral System

Note: all telephone referrals to be followed up within 48 hours via Derby Children's Social Care Online Referral System

What is the 'Initial Response Team'?

The Initial Response Team (IRT) deals with all telephone contacts and referrals for children and young people across the city who do not have an allocated worker. All contacts are screened by the IRT manager. The IRT manager checks the online system and LCS to ensure that duplicate contacts are not created.

The Initial Response Team

The team comprises of a Team Manager, Children's Practitioners and a Case Work Support Officer.

Making Referrals

All Contacts and Referrals will be considered against the Derby City and Derbyshire Thresholds Guidance to ensure that we process urgent Social Care and safeguarding referrals through to the city wide Assessment Teams. Other Contacts will be supported by providing advice, signposting, guidance and support through completion of an Early Help Assessment.

The IRT Team Manager will screen all Contacts and Referrals for immediate risks and Social Care response. The manager is also available to offer qualified social work advice to any agency.

  • All contacts will be passed to the IRT manager without delay and a decision about a contact received by the Team will be taken immediately if urgent, or within 24 hours;
  • The Team Manager will identify the level of need:
    1. Child Protection (S47);
    2. Child in Need (s17);
    3. Early Help Assessment;
    4. No Further Action;
    5. If a child has received 3 Domestic Abuse referrals within a 6 month period the Screening Team Manager/senior Practitioner should escalate the case for a Single Assessment, if it is felt that this is not proportionate there should be a clearly recorded rationale as to why not.
  • Urgent Safeguarding matters will be dealt with immediately. Referrals of a non urgent nature (Children in Need) will be allocated to a Social worker from one of the three Assessment Teams on the next working day;
  • The Assessment Team Manager will identify which children in the household will be subject of the assessment. The Assessment Team Manager will record on the child's file the rationale for the actions taken and clearly identify any immediate hazards and risk issues.
Outcome of Referrals

The team will advise all referrers of the outcome of their contact with the service by telephone or in writing. Now with the online referral the referrer receives a receipt informing them of the outcome of their referral.

Early Help Advisors

Advisors are based within each locality to provide advice on completing Early Help Assessments. All completed Early Help Assessments will be screened by the Locality Team Managers to ensure there are no immediate safeguarding concerns and then considered in weekly Vulnerable Children Meetings (VCM).

Threshold Criteria

See Derby City and Derbyshire Thresholds Document.